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Programmes

Introduction

Inspired by the joy of music we reinvest our income by partnering with like-minded organisations across the globe to help people start or continue their journey with music. We support and champion music education both in the UK and around the world.  

A key element of our reinvestment in music education is our programme activity, which you can find out more about here. 

Composer mentoring programme

Our composer mentoring programme, Writing for Music Education, provides emerging composers with opportunities to develop their skills in writing to a brief, both for exam syllabuses and within broader educational contexts. Composers on the programme receive dedicated mentoring from leading educational composers, as well as specialist support from educators and ABRSM staff as they complete a series of compositional tasks. 

Participants also benefit from opportunities to meet and establish connections with our partner organisations, including the National Open Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, National Youth Choir, Royal Philharmonic Society and others. 

The programme is a key strand of our Diversity and Inclusion Plan and supports our commitment to both inspiring the next generation of musicians and to commissioning music from composers from a greater diversity of backgrounds. Following a successful pilot in 2021 the composer mentoring programme has become a regular feature of our programme activities. 

Youth voice programme

While ABRSM exams are taken by people of any age, the majority of candidates are children and young people. In 2023 we established our first ever UK Youth Advisory Board, comprising three sub-groups of people between the ages of 10 and 25, to ensure the voices of the many children and young people we serve are heard within the organisation. 

The Youth Advisory Board helps to shape the future of ABRSM, ensuring our products and services remain relevant, accessible and inclusive. It meets every six weeks during term time and feeds directly into our work through our Music Education Advisory Committee, which meets three times a year and comprises a diverse group of colleagues from across the music education sector. 

We are not currently accepting applications for the Youth Advisory Board, however we will share details on this page and our social channels when future opportunities arise. 

Play On fund

Play On is ABRSM’s exciting sponsorship fund for organisations based outside of the UK, which we launched in January 2023 to succeed our previous International Sponsorship Fund. Play On is helping ABRSM to support a greater number and wider variety of organisations around the world than ever before and is managed on our behalf by The Commonwealth Resounds, an officially accredited musical organisation established in 2005. Their mission is to connect musical cultures and to promote initiatives and partnerships in Commonwealth countries, with a special focus upon music education and composition.

Applications for 2024 are now open until Monday 4 December 2023. Please visit The Commonwealth Resounds website for further information.

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